Anthony Joshua explained why he recently lashed out and called Hall of Famer and former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis "a clown."

During a televised special for Sky Sports, Joshua took his verbal swipes at Lewis - who responded back on social media.

Joshua claims that Lewis never guided him or provided advice - and instead criticized him at every turn.

After Joshua suffered his first career defeat back in June, when he was stopped by Andy Ruiz in seven rounds, Lewis took to social media and advised the young fighter to stop chasing money and to retain a new head trainer.

Joshua is currently on a media tour to promote his December 7th rematch with Ruiz, who holds the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBO heavyweight titles.

“I think everyone has been the underdog at some stage, you always have doubters. With the bad-guy thing, I always just say ‘I am what I am’. I don’t really say that much, but if you keep on poking me and poking me into a corner then I am going to bark and bite back," Joshua said.

“I am not a confrontational type of person, I keep myself to myself, but if you keep prodding me then I am going to spark back one of these days. Lennox was not a clown for his boxing, the man is a beast for his boxing, we have his photos all over my gym. When we talk about boxing, I respect that but when we sit around the table as men I only talk about wanting to appreciate the younger generation but I feel when it comes to me he’s different.

“He seemed to be saying ‘Anthony is dodging someone, he’s this or that’ and I just wondered why he is always attacking me, rather than reaching out and helping me, when I needed it. Lewis doesn’t really reach out, Lewis has never reached out. I went to Jamaica to see Lewis when I first wanted to turn professional.

“He had plans for the heavyweight division and he had plans for what he wanted to do with me but I don’t think they worked with what I wanted to do so I didn’t go down that route. The only times I have ever heard from Lewis since has been via the internet and stuff like that.

“Someone who takes the time to call me, and isn’t really into the internet stuff so much, is Wladimir Klitschko. He calls and advises me and is not interested in he doesn’t do it for hits on the internet, he just calls me, man-to-man and tells me what I should be doing and I appreciate that.”